Spirit of Christmas strong

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Wim­mera res­i­dents have shown the spirit of Christmas is alive and well in the re­gion, com­ing to the aid of nineyear-old Ted John­son and his fam­ily.

Ear­lier this month The Weekly Ad­ver­tiser re­ported on a cam­paign by Hor­sham Ss Michael and John’s Pri­mary School com­mu­nity to raise money for a new bike for Ted.

Ted was born with a con­gen­i­tal con­di­tion called bi­lat­eral tib­ial hemimelia – mean­ing he had no knees, shins or an­kles – and had both legs am­pu­tated.

With a spe­cial, cus­tom-made bike for Ted cost­ing $11,000, the school ral­lied around his fam­ily with a ‘Ten 4 Ted’ cam­paign.

The aim of the cam­paign was to raise enough money for a new bike, with the idea that 1100 peo­ple do­nat­ing $10 each could meet the tar­get.

The com­mu­nity re­sponded more gen­er­ously than Ted’s mother Abbie Clark or Ten 4 Ted or­gan­iser Louise Ch­ester­field could have imag­ined, rais­ing more than $15,000 in just 10 days.

Ms Clark said she was ‘blown away’ by the sup­port of Wim­mera res­i­dents in the lead-up to Christmas.

“We’re so thank­ful to the com­mu­nity and ev­ery­body for be­ing so gen­er­ous,” she said.

“It’s a re­ally joy­ful feel­ing, which you don’t get to feel much any­more, so it’s been great for our fam­ily.

“We would just like to ex­press our grat­i­tude to ev­ery­one who got in­volved.”

Ms Clark said the ex­tra money raised by the Ten 4 Ted cam­paign had been put to­wards buy­ing new pros­thetic legs for Ted.

She said his pros­thet­ics needed re­plac­ing about every 10 months, and he of­ten needed mul­ti­ple sets of legs for dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions.

Ted will travel to Mel­bourne to­day to try out a model of his new bike.

Ms Clark said the model Ted would re­ceive was still be­ing built and would be more customised to his needs, but the trial would give him more of an idea of what to ex­pect.

She said the ex­cite­ment of be­ing able to ride a bike for the first time was fi­nally start­ing to hit Ted.

“He’s a bit more ex­cited now that he knows we’re go­ing to test it out,” she said.

“He’s de­cided he wants a red one.

“We’ve talked about when he gets road safe how he might be able to meet his friends and ride to school to­gether when they get older.

“I said I’d get a bike and ride with him, but he’s de­cided I have to run, which is never go­ing to hap­pen.”

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